January 27, 2016

Garden Retail Survey Says Consumers Are Buying Annuals And Edibles

During the 2014 Greenhouse Grower GROW Summit, Susie Raker of C. Raker & Sons made a comment that hit home for everyone in the room. She said she was tired of trying to get more market share from a shrinking pie. She would much rather grow her business by having the industry expand. Susie gave voice to what just about everyone in the industry feels. It’s ridiculous to fight each other for market share when we should be focusing on fighting for our industry’s future. Simply put, we need more customers. One way to expand our customer base is to follow the lead of those in charge: consumers. Ultimately, they control how much our industry grows or slims down. To help make that happen, take a few minutes to look over the results of what we learned from retail surveys over the past few years. When retailers report what is selling […]

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Perennial Casket Spray Coral Bells from Hoerr Nursery

January 26, 2016

Living Memorials Are A Poignant Offering At Hoerr Nursery

In July 2014, Hoerr Nursery opened a new department: Tributes and Memorials. “We were approached by John, an employee’s brother, who has worked for years in the floral industry,” says garden center manager David Ploussard. “He noticed that we had the largest selection of memorial products in our market. Combined with his knowledge of funeral and visitation arrangements and procedures, he reasoned that Hoerr Nursery could provide a niche in the memorial market.” Hoerr’s buyer, Darlene, had worked over many years to grow Hoerr Nursery’s selection of memorial products. It was not unusual, Ploussard says, for Hoerr to receive requests to deliver these products and live plants to to visitations. “We reasoned that John’s proposal was a natural fit, as well as an extension of our current services,” he says. Greenhouse Grower RETAILING asked Ploussard to tell us more about how this department functions.   Q: Most garden retail marketing has a happy […]

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January 26, 2016

Six Steps To Help Even Novices Write Compelling Garden Articles

Garden retailers are often called upon to perform tasks far outside what they’re comfortable doing, from taxes to merchandising to writing stories for your store’s blog or for the local media. Don’t let anyone fool you – writing isn’t easy. It takes a lot of practice and thoughtfulness. But it is possible to learn a formula or two that can help even the least-experienced writers connect with readers. This six-step formula spells out exactly how you can tap your own experiences to write not only competently, but in a way that allows readers to relate fully to what you want to say. If you answer customer questions on a regular basis, then this writing hack is perfect for you. Step 1: Identify the most common question being asked. It’s always a good idea to get your staff to share customer questions they heard during your weekly staff meetings. Doing so is an […]

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Dahlia 'Dalaya Red + White' (2015 Reiman Gardens_Iowa State University Field Trials)

January 26, 2016

Top Performing Plants For The Upper Plains

It takes a hardy plant to perform well in the windy and unpredictable upper Midwest states. Take a look at the plants that rose to the top of the pack in trail settings in North Dakota, western Minnesota and northern Iowa.

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pallet wall

January 25, 2016

2 Unique Ways To Approach Benching From My Garden Nursery

Benching displays can be expensive, but they don’t always have to be. My Garden Nursery in Bellingham, WA, has found some creative and inventive ways to improve its displays to help its customers shop wisely, while the grower-retailer saves money on new tables and benches by instead using reclaimed and recycled materials, and paint to freshen everything up. One of the most important features in displaying plants is the color of the bench, says co-owner Jenny Gunderson. “We use orange for plants that like sun and blue for plants that like shade,” Gunderson says. “We have matching orange suns and blue clouds that hang over the tables.” This provides a simple and easy way for customers to discern which plants they need for the areas of their gardens or patios that are exposed to different light conditions, without having to ask. In the operation’s organic herb and veggie area, and […]

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Gerbera 'Funtastic Mango' (2015 Dallas Arboretum Field Trials)

January 18, 2016

Plants That Can Survive Hot Climates

Some parts of the country have a different understanding of what the word "hot" means. A hot climate is one where garden retailers regularly throw out the plant care instructions and replace "full sun" with "morning sun," because very, very few plants can take the blistering heat of a summer's day in these regions. With that in mind, we gathered the top performers from five different field trials in undeniably hot climates.

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January 18, 2016

Proof Garden Stores Are Recovering From The Great Recession

Since 2009, garden retailers have cited the economy as the second greatest barrier to spring sales (weather is always No. 1) — until this past year.

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January 18, 2016

3 Lessons To Learn From Paul James’ Gardening-Resolutions Video

For the past two years, garden celebrity Paul James has been working with Southwood Garden Center in Tulsa, OK. Here are three things James does that garden retailers can learn from when making their own videos.

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Gertens winter porch pots 2010

January 15, 2016

Christmas 2015: Fresh Greens And Personal Gifts Were A Hit For Garden Retailers

Consultant Ian Baldwin reflects on how his network of garden retailers fared over the holiday season and offers advice as buyers head to the winter markets.

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organic controls at Bobs Garden Center feature

January 12, 2016

Organic Controls Sales Have Caught Up With Traditional Pesticides, Garden Retailers Report

It’s taken many years, but organic control sales are now on par with traditional controls for U.S. garden retailers, an analysis of a few years of surveying garden retailers shows. And retailers consistently report that organic controls have a higher increase in sales each year than its counterpart. The data was pulled from several years of our retail State of the Industry surveys, and the number of retailers responding each year ranged from 216 (in 2014) to 440 (in 2013) garden retailers. The national picture shows that a similar number of retailers are stocking traditional and organic pesticides. We find 78.3% of retailers are stocking traditional controls, which is just a whisper higher than the 77.93% that carry organics. But once you look at how the products are performing, you begin to see some differences. Take a look at the two charts below. The first, which tracks traditional pest control sales performance […]

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Dragon’s-Breath-Celosia_featured

January 12, 2016

Best Performing Plants For Cool, Mountain Regions

Each year, two trials take place in Colorado’s demanding alpine climate: Welby Gardens and Colorado State University (CSU). Between these two gardens, plants get a dose of growing in a climate with late snows, and bouts of too much rain and drought. The below photo gallery show the three best in shows at CSU and the top five performers at Welby this past year. Before taking a look at the top performers, here a brief background on how each arrived at selecting these plants. How The Colorado State University Trials Work CSU’s trials took place just a day earlier, on August 3, 2015, and there were about 800 different plant varieties from 31 participating companies.  About 100 industry, seed and vegetative company representatives and advanced Master Gardeners evaluated the trials. A second evaluation took place on September 11, when 15 members of CSU’s Annual Trial Garden Advisory Committee re-evaluated the ‘Best Of’s from […]

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customer with a sunflower free image

January 11, 2016

How A Truly Exclusive VIP Program Fosters Loyalty To Roger’s Gardens

About 50 Roger’s Gardens customers receive special treatment, from expedited checkouts to dedicated phone lines and emails to handle their questions. General manager Ron Vanderhoff explains how and why Roger’s runs the program.

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